Do i even need to do water changes? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Do i even need to do water changes?

i have a ten gallon tank (in my sig) that never has nitrate in it (reads a tiny pink but barely any, maybe 0-5). I dose flourish iron and flourish every other day, and excel everyday. i run co2 at low levels. I have a 2213 and AC 30 on it. Do i ever really need to change the water on it? shrimp seem to be fine, otos fine, snails fine. I haven't changed the water for a couple weeks now and growth has really taken off. So do i really need to change the water? if i only have to change it once a month rather than once a week it would make the tank almost zero maintenance.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 04:45 AM
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As far as nitrates go, if you are always bottoming out then that isn't reason to do changes. However, I believe adding new water to your tank adds in calcium and other factors. Personally I don't run carbon in any of my tanks so water changes ensure that I never have any water coloration or odor from the tanks.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 04:52 AM
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I would do water changes as minerals can build up when you constantly replace water as they do not evaporate, at least thats what I heard
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2011, 05:03 AM
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Water changes are necessary when you dose non-limiting amounts of all of the nutrients. That causes them to slowly build up in the water, and a big water change removes the excess. It appears, from what I read here, that other than that, water changes are not necessary.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2011, 02:37 PM
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Just something else to keep in mind...I believe there is some research which suggested that fish release a marker hormone into thier environment and if the saturation level of that hormone is high enough in thier environment it will stunt thier growth. Here is an forum thread I found in just a few moments, seems to be a researcher posting some ideas
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2011, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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so in a smaller tank it would be better to do less frequent water changes if you want to keep fish smaller? so you could keep more fish in a smaller tank? I might do that for my mini-m, hmmmmm. well i have shrimp in that tank so i don't think it will matter. they seem to be doing fine, i need to get an accurate nitrate testing kit though i just use the strips. but my plants are growing like crazy since i haven't done a change in a while. I think i might change 50% once a month or would that not work?

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 07:09 PM
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How come no one mentions organic materials buildup, which needs to be kept to minimum to avoid algae problems and to keep fertilization scheme clean.
Changing water reduces organics in the water column - one major factor for the WC.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2011, 08:39 PM
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Anecdotal "evidence" here -- my 10gal RCS tank has been neglected for probably a year -- I may drop an algae wafer in there once a week, and I never bother with water changes - only top off once the water level is nearing halfway down the tank. No filtration either, just a heater, airstone, and a ton of java moss getting spill over light from another tank.

About a month ago, I started doing weekly water changes. When I showed my RCS to a buddy last night, I just realized how "deep" and "solid" red my RCS are now. They were pale last month, when I compare from memory. I have also spotted quite a lot of tiny little shrimplets now, whereas I didn't find a single one last month.

I'd listen to the more experienced invert-keeping members here, but for my 10gal RCS tank, I'll continue doing my weekly 2.5gal water change. Including wiping any water spills, it takes what, 5 minutes?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 12:17 AM
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You're suggesting doing monthly water changes rather than weekly, right? If that's the case, and you're not fertilizing heavily, and the tank has plenty of plants and isn't packed with shrimp, there's no reason that that should cause problems. Lots of people do top offs with monthly water changes. I would try to make your monthly changes substantial (30% or more) if you have a significant amount of evaporation so that your TDS doesn't get out of hand.

Try it for a few months and see if it works for you, if not, go back to more frequent changes. It's not going to kill everything in the tank after all.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 01:10 AM
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I do a monthly water change out of sheer habit. I used to live in deep south Florida and there were water usage restrictions all the time. So I stopped doing my weekly water change. It actually made things level Out a lot better. There were less fluctuations over time and I never lost any fish of plants.


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10galfornow View Post
so in a smaller tank it would be better to do less frequent water changes if you want to keep fish smaller? so you could keep more fish in a smaller tank? I might do that for my mini-m, hmmmmm. well i have shrimp in that tank so i don't think it will matter. they seem to be doing fine, i need to get an accurate nitrate testing kit though i just use the strips. but my plants are growing like crazy since i haven't done a change in a while. I think i might change 50% once a month or would that not work?
I can't help, but think there is something wrong with allowing fish to suppress the growth of others. If this is even possible, it seems akin to forcing large species to be homed in smaller aquariums because the smaller aquariums will stunt their growth. However, in the latter case, the fish's internals continue growing until internal problems lead to death.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 06:12 AM
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I am by no means an animal rights activist but the level of stress that fish and inverts go through to make it to your aquarium is bad enough. Fish suffer through being caught wild or farm raised, transported, and horrible LFS conditions. Aside from the accumulation of dissolved solids and the slow creep of macro/micro nutrients that you might be dosing the animals deserve clean water.

I bucket 60+ gallons of water every weekend simply because I greatly enjoy the beauty of my flora/fauna and the well being of those animals is my responsibility.

Mother nature changes water every second of every day and that is what fish are built for and I strongly believe we should attempt to provide them the best quality of life that we can.


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Abrium View Post
Mother nature changes water every second of every day and that is what fish are built for and I strongly believe we should attempt to provide them the best quality of life that we can.
One of the best reflections on water changes I've read.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrium View Post
I am by no means an animal rights activist but the level of stress that fish and inverts go through to make it to your aquarium is bad enough. Fish suffer through being caught wild or farm raised, transported, and horrible LFS conditions. Aside from the accumulation of dissolved solids and the slow creep of macro/micro nutrients that you might be dosing the animals deserve clean water.

I bucket 60+ gallons of water every weekend simply because I greatly enjoy the beauty of my flora/fauna and the well being of those animals is my responsibility.

Mother nature changes water every second of every day and that is what fish are built for and I strongly believe we should attempt to provide them the best quality of life that we can.
Makin me feel bad about my monthly water change schedule... Maybe I will step it up to weekly or at least bi weekly...
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2011, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrium View Post
Mother nature changes water every second of every day and that is what fish are built for and I strongly believe we should attempt to provide them the best quality of life that we can.
Well said.
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